Dr. Chris Kammer explains the origins of the national program:
The national Halloween Candy Buy Back (HCBB) program was started with the goal of getting some of the glut of candy “off the streets" and reducing the overconsumption of sugar by children. In turn those collected treats could then be sent to our troops to let them know we appreciate them and as a thank you for serving to keep us safe. In 2005, I held my first HCBB and it was a smash success with my patients, the general public and the media. The next year, I invited dentists from across the country to participate in the HCBB by simply paying $1 for every pound of candy a child brought into their respective offices and then sending those goodies to the troops overseas along with other necessary items like tooth brushes and socks. In the years that followed, the USA dental offices responded in ever increasing numbers! The national response overwhelmed me as well! Hundreds of local news stories led to the event getting featured by Diane Sawyer on ABC News. Person of the Week: Sweet Surprise for Soldiers and most recently on CNN Video News - CNN
I have really enjoyed watching this event grow and realizing all it has done for children, dental practices, and the troops overseas who are serving in harm's way. In addition to all of the good we are doing, we are also having lots of fun! The dental teams dress up on the day of the event, tables are set up to write supportive letters to the troops, and some of the children's candy is replaced with tooth healthy xylitol sweetened treats from Spry our national sponsor.
We have partnered with Move America Forward & Operation Shoebox. Dental offices ship these organizations the candy and other necessities, and they get them to the troops! Those serving our country abroad receive an unexpected surprise when these wonderful care packages arrive overseas for them.
So dental offices nationwide generally pay the kids $1 per pound for the candy (usually a 5 lb. limit) and then mail off the collection to Move America Forward or Operation Shoebox and they sort all the goodies, pack the boxes and ship those boxes to our troops abroad serving the country. Hundreds of tons of candy have been collected, over the years by thousands dental offices nationwide.
Thank you for your interest in the Halloween Candy Buyback program and your thoughtfulness in providing the candy to Move America Forward & Operation Shoebox for the Holiday care packages. We invite you to “Like” us Facebook to receive additional updates as soon as they are posted along with ideas to execute your Halloween Candy Buyback.
How does the program work?
-Participating dentists "buy" back kids' Halloween candy at a scheduled event.
-"Buy" with cash, raffle tickets for prizes, local business coupons, toothbrushes, creative exchanges - They can partner with local businesses to give away coupons for food, services, goods, etc. They can give away the Hygiene Kits, they can set up an Opportunity Prize--each kid gets a ticket per pound of candy for an opportunity drawing to win special prizes, etc.
-Dentists send the candy to Move America Forward, Operation Shoebox or other Military support groups. -The dental teams use this opportunity to educate about the delicious candy alternatives that are sweetened with xylitol and actually good for teeth! Please tells us you know about Spry! If you don't, then you are missing out on the most healthy way you could be helping the children and families that visit your Buyback!!
-Move America Forward & Operation Shoebox sends the candy to U.S. Military.
Why Join Halloween Candy Buyback?
-You'll enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re making kids, parents, and Service Members smile!
-You'll set a great example for the next generation to give back!
-You'll also enjoy some great publicity!
-You'll be educating about the power of xylitol to prevent decay!
Sign up to receive newsletters and information on the Halloween Candy Buyback program by completing the registration for your office.
For information and tips on how to host/execute the HCBB – please visit the Tipspage.
From there you cangain valuable tips on securing media attention and promotion to help get the word out in your community attracting more children.
Feel free to work with local community centers or elementary schools instead of hosting at your practice.
I especially encourage your office and your patients to write letters/cards to the troopsthat can be included with your candy in the packages.
Move America Forward & Operation Shoebox welcome donations of dental hygiene products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss--perhaps your suppliers/reps would be willing to participate as well!
Shipping details are listed on the Contact page
For anyone that would like to make a financial donation to Move America Forward or Operation Shoebox, please view their website.
Need to contact our office? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your participation is essential because the children can’t drive just yet. In all seriousness, your support shows your family the
importance of dental hygiene,
great feeling of helping others and
earning a few dollars is always a special feeling.
These are just a few of the possible take away lessons you and your family can have when participating in your local Halloween Candy Buyback. More importantly, you and your family will have a ton of fun either hanging out at the dentist/orthodontist office hosting the Halloween Candy Buyback.
To find a dental practice in your area, use the zip code "look-up" feature to see if there is a dental office participating close by. SUGGESTION: Call the practice before driving over with your Halloween candy as many have concluded their buyback event and are no longer accepting candy.